Messi scores 3 as Barcelona draws with Madrid | sports | Hindustan Times
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Messi scores 3 as Barcelona draws with Madrid

sports Updated: Mar 11, 2007 19:52 IST

Lionel Messi scored his third goal of the game in injury time to rally FC Barcelona to a 3-3 draw with rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish league.

The teenage forward received Ronaldinho's pass before darting through the defence and firing a low, angled left-footed shot past Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas to put the defending champion atop the standings at least for the day.

Both sides scored twice in the opening 28 minutes at Camp Nou, with Ruud van Nistelrooy accounting for both of Madrid's goals, one from a penalty.

Defender Sergio Ramos gave Madrid a 3-2 lead in the 73rd minute.

Barcelona played with 10 men after defender Oleguer Presas was ejected in 45th minute and appeared headed for a third straight defeat. The Catalan team lost to Sevilla last weekend and then was eliminated from the European Champions League by Liverpool on Tuesday.

"I was given a lot of space by my teammates. I tried to take advantage and today it worked out. It was a very special match," Messi told La Sexta TV station. "Madrid benefitted from having an extra player. If it hadn't, the game would have been very different."

Madrid's performance likely will ease the criticism of coach Fabio Capello, whose tenure came under additional scrutiny after it was eliminated from the Champions League by Bayern Munich on Wednesday.